Military Honors

Featured-Photo-20180629

 

Military funeral honors provided at Arlington National Cemetery differ from those provided at other national cemeteries. There are three types of burial honors rendered at Arlington: military funeral honors, military funeral honors with funeral escort, and dependent honors. Every uniformed service member or veteran of the armed forces is eligible for military funeral honors, which are provided by the decedent’s branch of service. 

Military Funeral Honors

Enlisted service members WO-1 through CW-3, and O-1 through O-3, interred/inurned at Arlington National Cemetery will receive military funeral honors. The elements of military funeral honors include:

  • Casket team (body bearers/pallbearers)
  • Firing party
  • Bugler
  • Folding of and presentation of the U.S. flag

Military Funeral Honors with Funeral Escort

Those military members who attained the grade of E-9, CW-4 and CW-5, and O-4 and above, or service members regardless of rank who receive the Medal of Honor or who are killed in action, may receive military funeral honors with funeral escort. The elements of military funeral honors with funeral escort include:

  • Casket team (body bearers/pallbearers)
  • Firing party
  • Bugler
  • Folding of and presentation of the U.S. flag
  • Marching element (size varies according to the rank of the deceased)
  • Military band

Those eligible for a funeral escort at Arlington National Cemetery may request the caisson, if available. 

Spouse and Dependent Honors

When a spouse or other eligible dependent of a current or former member of the armed forces is buried at Arlington, the military service in which the member served will provide a casket team or body bearer and a military chaplain, if requested. No other military funeral honors will be rendered unless the spouse also served in the military. 

Armed Forces Funeral Honors

Armed forces funeral honors are the same as military funeral honors with funeral escort, with the exception that escort platoons from each of the military services participate. These funerals are reserved for the President of the United States (as commander-in-chief), the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and officers granted multiple-service command. 

Additional Funeral Elements

  • Army and Marine Corps colonels and general officers may be provided a caparisoned (riderless) horse, if available.
  • Army general officers may receive a battery cannon salute (17 guns for a four-star general, 15 for a three-star, 13 for a two-star, 11 for a one-star), if available.
  • Folding of and presentation of the U.S. flag
  • Minute guns may be used for general officers/flag officers of the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy, if available.
  • The president of the United States is entitled to a 21-gun salute, while other high state officials receive 19 guns.

Military Chaplain Support

A military chaplain may be scheduled by the cemetery staff, if requested, unless a family minister is desired and provided by the primary next of kin or the funeral home. 


Click here for the sequence of events for military funeral honors.